DPS 34th Meeting, October 2002
Session 18. Outer Planet Atmospheres
Poster, Chair(s): , Tuesday, October 8, 2002, 3:30-6:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[18.08] Spectro-photometry of Saturn with Passband-tunable Imaging System

T. Temma, N. Chanover (New Mexico State University), A. Simon-Miller (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center), D. Kuehn (Pittsburg State University), J. Hillman (University of Maryland), D. Glenar (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center)

A series of narrow-band images of Saturn were taken with the Air Force Research Laboratory's 3.67-meter AEOS telescope at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex. Saturn was observed from 6-11 February 2002 with the objective of detecting any cloud perturbation in the southern hemisphere over a large number of wavelengths to perform a detailed study of Saturn's vertical cloud structure. We employed a guest instrument, the Acousto-optic Imaging Spectrometer (AImS), built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, for our observations. This instrument passes incoming radiation through a birefringent crystal and segregates light of a certain wavelength to be imaged on a detector. Its spectral range covers 0.50-1.05 microns and the resolution (\lambda / \Delta \lambda) is 210 ~ 530. We photometrically calibrated the images with standard star data to obtain three-dimensional (two spatial and one spectral) image cubes of Saturn. The high wavelength resolution around methane absorption bands helps to sample different cloud layers with improved vertical resolution compared with conventional narrow-band filters. The radiative transfer computation results are fitted with the observed center-limb profiles. Based on two-cloud model, the latitudinal variation in the Saturnian cloud structure is interpreted.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.